The Veterans Success Center is more than just a resource center to those who are a part of that community. It’s a place where those who have suffered pain and loss for serving our country can relax and feel at ease.
Director, Agustin Ramirez, says being “ranked nationally as the top school in California and number 14 in the nation according to Best for Vets, ” this center is a place where those who serve for our country, dependents of those who serve, and ROTC cadets can feel like themselves and be comfortable in a place where there are others like them in a successful environment. It helps them with closure and to feel like they’re not alone.
Some of the resources provided for use are free printing, free scantrons, free access to computers, and quiet rooms.
Students from this center believe it does not receive enough recognition, nor is it big enough for all those who are a part of it.
Ramirez, says “currently, we have about 575 self-identifying service members and about 800 dependents and ROTC cadets.”
Solutions considered to the space issue are to expand the center and to add more promotions about it throughout campus.
Joe Irwin, a student receiving his masters and a veteran who is there every day, recognizes that not enough is done for this center.
“When I graduated from my undergrad, they didn’t even acknowledge the veterans and the graduating class,” said Irwin.
Irwin openly discussed his concerns with this issue but also shared the triumphs of the center.
There are several accomplishments that the veterans and dependents utilizing this facility have noticed.
“I think the biggest achievement of this center is its openness and willingness to let us be,” said Irwin.
Walking around this center, different rooms for different services are seen throughout. A break room is located straight down the hall from the front doors where many veterans and dependents eat, relax, and socialize.
The second door to the left of the front doors is a room with some computers and chairs made accessible for them.
Around this center are several items that are accommodating for those with disabilities, such as being able to move the computer up or down to one’s desired level, whether someone is sitting down or standing. A big screen is also connected to computers for those who have trouble with their sight.
Arren Dedios, a student in the ROTC program as a cadet for the Air Force, says that this center offers a good support system as a second-year student.
Talking about the resources granted to those who are a part of this community, Dedios said, “I will be honest, yes it would be different…while the library is technically quiet, sometimes I don’t like to be around there since I don’t know anybody, so I just go here and do my work here and then I could print out my work.”
For Veterans Day, as the campus is always closed, Irwin mentioned that every year they all carpool to Riverside National Cemetery to place flags on all graves.
Many veteran center-based events are not well known because most information about the center is only sent via email to those who are a part of the community.
The Veterans center also offers comfort and support to those who use it and are open and welcome to anyone who served, is serving, a dependent, or in the programs on campus.
It is nonetheless a place to go to for help, advice, or even just for a quiet place to study at.